7 Reasons DJI Mavic Pro Could Destroy The GoPro Karma!

DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma?

The two most popular quadcopters for sale today are the DJI Mavic Pro and the GoPro Karma. Not that either drone is the best available, simply that both companies are very good at marketing their new drones! GoPro Launched the Karma in the October 2016. A week later DJI launched the Mavic Pro.

And a week later GoPro recalled the Karma – it was falling out of the sky – literally! While all this was happening, the DJI Mavic Pro was getting rave reviews across the Internet!

How much testing could GoPro have done prior to release of the GoPro Karma for this to happen? One would think that even a weeks worth of testing would enlighten GoPro to this fault in the Karma!

We can only assume GoPro was getting a little anxious when DJI stopped using GoPro cameras on their drones. GoPro needed a platform for their cameras to compete with DJI and other drone manufacturers – hence the rush to introduce the GoPro Karma – much too soon by the looks of it!

This Video Provides a Good Overview of Both Quadcopters.

As you can see, GoPro needs to add features comparable to other drones in the same price range very soon, or there will be no reason to buy a GoPro Karma!


7 Reasons DJI Could Bury The GoPro Karma

#1 – Mavic Pro Offers 40% More Flight Time Than The Karma

When it comes to quadcapters, the time you are able to spend in the air makes a big difference in where you can go, what you can film and for how long. Longer flight times means you have a better chance of capturing the perfect footage or photograph.

Considering flight time is usually reduced by on-board features and functions, there is no excuse for the Karma to offer such a low amount of flight time. GoPro states up to 20 minutes, which is odd considering a brand new battery shows only 19 minutes when the controller powers up. Many users online say that 20 minutes (GoPro Specs) is way off, and flight times are closer to 15minutes. Windy conditions and your speed both reduce flight time substantially!

Mavic Pro users on the other hand, report easily getting 23 to 26 minutes flight time. DJI does not smudge the lines on this – they clearly state flight times will be reduced by head winds and speed.

Mavic Pro Flight Time -27 minutes | GoPro Karma Flight Time – 19 minutes (maximum)


#2 – GoPro Karma Cannot Hover in Place – Safely!

If you are in an open field, hovering stability might not be an issue, however, in most cases, you won’t always be flying your drone in open fields. In fact, it is highly likely you will want to film where there are trees, buildings, cliffs or other obstacles. In these cases, stability is paramount and you can’t rely on the GoPro Karma to sit in one spot.

Check out this comparison video with the Karma vs the Phantom 4 (the Mavic Pro and latest DJI drones are equally as stable)

Why is low level hovering so important? Why do you need it to remain in one spot?

For great shots, indoors and out. Some of the best footage is taken from low level angles or near cliffs or areas one cannot normally stand. If the Karma cannot hover in place to within a few feet, it won’t be able to safely take this kind of footage. At least not without risking damage to the Karma or nearby objects or people.

Indoors? Forget it, the Karma lacks the required sensors to do so. The DJI Mavic Pro on the other hand can easily hover indoors with extreme accuracy (just check out YouTube and you will find lots of examples).

What this all means is that you cannot safely let go of the Karma controller or take your attention of the Karma while adjusting other functions e.g. camera, flight paths etc. With the DJI Mavic Pro and all of DJI’s latest drones – you can, and you won’t have to worry about where your drone will go – it stays put!

This is not only a bad control issue with the Karma, it is a safety issue too!

The main reason the Karma cannot stay put is its dependence on GPS for positioning. It is far to difficult to maintain a stable position via GPS – built in sensors are what is required.

The Mavic Pro has 2 built-in sensors on the bottom, these not only provide hovering stability, they provide an additional feature – terrain height adjustment allowing the Mavic Pro to follow uneven terrain and maintain the same distance off the ground at all times.  An awesome feature for Follow Me mode and similar Mavic Pro functions.


#3 – GoPro Karma Has “NO” Obstacle Avoidance System!

This may not seem like a big deal if you are flying where you have a clear line of sight and can always see your drone. But what happens if you lose connection with your drone? It will fly back to the lift-off location. This is great if you didn’t fly around any trees or buildings prior to the disconnect. The DJI Mavic Pro will turn around and fly back, going around any obstacles that may be in the way.

NOT THE GOPRO KARMA! If it has to fly back and is no longer in your control, it has no way to know if it is going to fly into a building, tree or other obstacle on the way back – this is a huge failure in our opinion.

There are many other scenarios where obstacle avoidance can save your drone. Considering the price of the GoPro Karma this should have been included – if for no other reason, safety!


Flight Autonomy is made up of 7 components including 5 cameras (forward and downward dual vision sensors and the main camera), dual-band satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS), 2 ultrasonic rangefinders, redundant sensors, and a group of 24 powerful, specialized computing cores. Cameras on the left and right side in the front of the Mavic are fixed in place using an aluminum bracket to ensure the optimum alignment of the vision sensor lenses.

As the Mavic flies, dual forward and downward vision sensors measure the distance between itself and obstacles by taking photos from all four cameras and using the information to create a 3D map that tells it exactly where obstacles are. The dual forward and downward vision sensors require visible light to function, and in bright light can see as far as 49ft (15m) out in front.

#4 – The Mavic Pro is 1/3 The Size & Weight!

Although the GoPro Karma hypes the all-in-one backpack kit it is important to remember it is not small. If you were planning a hike into the mountains or other remote location, or even a day at the beach, it is no longer so appealing. The complete GoPro Karma kit is about 3 times as bulky and heavy as the DJI Mavic Pro. This may not be important for short trips around town but is much more important when hiking into a particular location.

While the Mavic Pro may not come in a case (unless you purchase a bundled package), buying a case designed for the Mavic Pro is simply a matter of going online, and there are many to choose from.

When comparing these two quadcopters, the Mavic Pro is substantially smaller and easier to pack around, especially if hiking into remote areas. If you need to carry other supplies (e.g. camping, food etc) the Karma leaves little room for these. On the other hand, the Mavic Pro can be tucked away nicely in a backpack, with lots of room to spare for other gear and food!


#5 – GoPro Karma Lands Hard, The Mavic Pro Soft

The GoPro Karma has no positioning sensors and this is evident when it lands. It has no way of knowing how far away the ground is and often lands hard enough to break propellers (a frequently reported issue by Karma users). In addition to this, hard landings cannot be good for the internal electronics in the long run. The hardest landings of course are those where you lose control to the RTH (Return to Home) feature.

The DJI Mavic Pro has 2 downward facing sensors and will always land gently, regardless of who is in control, you or the on-board computer system!


#6 – DJI Mavic Pro Offers Numerous Features Not Available With GoPro Karma

The list of features available on the DJI Mavic Pro out-way the Karma at least 2 to 1. Numerous flight modes available, dual IMU’s, 5 obstacle avoidance cameras, reliable and accurate RTH control and long range control. The differences between the GoPro Karma and DJI Mavic Pro are substantial, and the video below covers almost everything you need to know.

The review video below goes over many of the features and differences between the Karma and Mavic Pro

This is a long video, but if you are seriously planning to shell out $1100 for a GoPro Karma or Mavic Pro it is worth watching. Iphonedo has over 260,000 subscribers and provides good reviews on electronic gadgets and drones.


#7 – GoPro Karma is More Expensive Than Mavic Pro

If all of the above are not enough reason for DJI to knock out the Karma, lets talk price. GoPro Karma being the more expensive of the two. These prices are for basic units only.

DJI Mavic Pro $999 | GoPro Karma With Hero 5 Camera $1099


Comparing Packages

The two packages below are a good comparison of the costs for each quadcopter. The Mavic Pro package includes 2 extra batteries, props and case for only $200 more than the GoPro Karma Package. If you add 2 Karma batteries to the GoPro Karma package below, both packages are the same price.

It is important to remember we are comparing “Quadcopters” here, not accessories.

Part of the GoPro Karma hype, is the other accessories that come with it, like the handheld gimbal and detachable Hero 5 camera. We can’t argue, these are nice to have, but, when it comes to flying the GoPro Karma, the big question is how does it perform. Those extra accessories won’t mean much if you are constantly frustrated flying the GoPro Karma!


We Would Love To See GoPro Turn This Around…

It is really a shame that GoPro released the Karma with it lacking so many features and having some major issues – like dying in mid flight and falling to the ground (hence the recall).

The GoPro Karma, in our opinion, is a very well designed quadcopter, and the All-In-One Backpack a great concept.

We see it as a great idea poorly executed by a company that has the means and knowledge to have done this the right way. GoPro built a great reputation with their cameras and it strikes us odd that they would risk their reputation releasing the Karma when they did, lacking as many features as it does.

In the long run, we feel this could kill the company. You can’t throw a product like this out to your loyal customers without some serious loss of confidence. And there is no lack of competition to fill in the void. DJI and other companies are quickly introducing cameras and drones that equal or exceed that of GoPro

In our opinion, GoPro would be wise to halt production of the Karma, revamp it to include all of the latest features, make a few mods and release an new version under a different name. The way things are looking right now, DJI is taking over the market, not just with drones, but handheld gimbals and high-end cameras too.

GoPro will need to act fast and put out a top quality, feature rich drone very soon if they want to stay in this market and retain their loyal customer base.

Lets hope they do, it would be great to see a new and improved version of the GoPro Karma

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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Professional Quadcopters & Drones
Professional Quadcopters & Drones